You and your spouse have lived in Texas for five years, but you were not born here. You met in California, when you were in college, and you got married there. A few years after the wedding, you moved to Texas for work.
Since a California court did the paperwork for your marriage, does that mean you have to head back to California to get divorced? Or are you allowed to do so in a court in Texas?
Understanding the residency requirements
First and foremost, no, you do not have to get divorced in the same state where you got married. You do not have to fly back to California. You can still get divorced in Texas, as it is where you live now.
However, there are two main residency requirements that you have to meet. They are:
- One of you needs to have lived in Texas for a minimum of six months prior to filing for divorce.
- One of you must have lived in your specific county for a minimum of three months.
In the above example, as long as you haven't switched counties very recently, you meet these requirements with ease. You have years in Texas, when you only needed six months. If you're a homeowner and you bought that house when you moved from California, you have long since passed the residency requirements and you can get divorced as soon as you wish.
What should you do next?
You can see, though, how a divorce may be more legally complex than you assumed. Be sure you know exactly what steps you need to take.